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adultswim
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Excess labor value is the primary means of capitalist profit, so it should be obvious that productivity doesn't drive compensation. It's in their interest to keep compensation down, and because we live such a dominantly capitalist society, socially acceptable labor upkeep is kept to a minimum as well.

11/15/2018 12:49:31 PM

LoneSnark
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It is in my interest as a consumer to keep prices for the products I buy down, doesn't mean I get to do that. When I walk in to the car dealership and proclaim "I'll give you only $10k for this $20k car, accept it or don't feed your family." They'll obviously respond "Don't make us laugh. We don't really care if you buy the car, we'll find someone else to sell the car to that will pay what it is worth."

It is in the interest of workers to get paid as much as possible for their labor. If the capitalist in question decides to follow his interest and tell his workers "You'll accept $5 an hour or go starve in the street" his workers will obviously respond "This job sucks anyways, we don't really care what you feel like paying, we know lots of employers out there seeking employees and they'll pay what we're worth so good bye."

Again, in a market neither side gets to dictate anything. There is no monopsony in Seattle, so there is no one to decide "capitalist profit isn't what it needs to be, so we're going to lower wages commensurately." No such person exists. No such organization exists. If worker productivity goes up, profits will rise, so more businesses will succeed and need workers, creating a worker shortage. In such a situation, some employers will be trapped without enough workers to do business, lack of workers is costing them a profitable business. If they offer higher wages, it would fix their employee problem and stop them loosing money, at the expense of all other employers which must now match or lose. And there is nothing in society to stop them. A monopsony requires a mechanism of enforcement to force employers to sacrifice themselves and their own business for the profits of other capitalists they may not even know, and there is none in our society. This is why total worker compensation consistently follows worker productivity over time (delayed, of course, because markets can be sticky).

And it is why even in the capitalist utopia of Sweden which doesn't have a minimum wage, the capitalists that run that country's means of production cannot pay subsistence wages and get away with it: their workers would quit and find a more competitive buyer.

[Edited on November 17, 2018 at 6:34 PM. Reason : .,.]

11/17/2018 6:19:51 PM

adultswim
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Your argument might make sense if there wasn't already an extreme imbalance of power between the working class and the owning class. This is the problem with libertarianism. A society is not actually free if resources are hoarded by a dominant ruling class.

Quote :
"And it is why even in the capitalist utopia of Sweden which doesn't have a minimum wage, the capitalists that run that country's means of production cannot pay subsistence wages and get away with it: their workers would quit and find a more competitive buyer. "


Sweden has strong unions that dictate wages.

11/17/2018 7:38:24 PM

LoneSnark
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That is begging the question. The "imbalance of power" would be a monopsony. If there is no monopsony, then the "owning class" has no power to prevent their members from offering higher wages for their own private gain, therefore they have no more power than the car buying class or the produce buying class.

Sweden has strong unions, which represent 69% of the labor force. That's a lot. I'm glad to hear only 31% of the nation's labor force is dying on subsistence wages, by your understanding. Since it can't possibly be that businesses must compete for workers by offering competitive compensations.

11/17/2018 9:33:54 PM

adultswim
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Quote :
"That is begging the question. The "imbalance of power" would be a monopsony. If there is no monopsony, then the "owning class" has no power to prevent their members from offering higher wages for their own private gain, therefore they have no more power than the car buying class or the produce buying class. "


Cool so how do you propose ending the monopsony that currently exists and would still exist if we magically transitioned to libertarianism?

Quote :
"Sweden has strong unions, which represent 69% of the labor force. That's a lot. I'm glad to hear only 31% of the nation's labor force is dying on subsistence wages, by your understanding. Since it can't possibly be that businesses must compete for workers by offering competitive compensations."


Glad we agree that unions are a good idea.

11/17/2018 11:57:55 PM

TerdFerguson
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"If worker productivity goes up, profits will rise, so more businesses will succeed and need workers, creating a worker shortage. In such a situation, some employers will be trapped without enough workers to do business, lack of workers is costing them a profitable business. If they offer higher wages, it would fix their employee problem and stop them loosing money,"



Now look at the empirical data:
- Productivity has been rising since forever.
- Corporate profits are at all-time highs
- unemployment has been sub-5% for the last 4 years
- compensation, and especially wages, have barely been growing faster than inflation in that time-frame.

There have been a lot of labor monopsony papers the past few years:
https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2018/7/31/17632348/wages-lagging-inequality-income-recovery-recession-wage-puzzle-economics
https://www.epi.org/publication/its-not-just-monopoly-and-monopsony-how-market-power-has-affected-american-wages/
https://www.nber.org/papers/w24147.pdf
http://rooseveltinstitute.org/how-widespread-labor-monopsony-some-new-results-suggest-its-pervasive/


Note that my hypothesis is a bit more complicated than just labor monopsony, as it involves unrealized demand and the prevalence of rent-seeking across our economy, but still, it’s self-evident to me that our economy isn’t functioning as conservative economist have suggested it would.

11/18/2018 9:21:24 AM

LoneSnark
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that last one was funny. They're going to look at one employment website, career-builder, then conclude from it that most of the country was operating under monopsony conditions. I checked career builder, it didn't have a single job listing for many counties in NC, so I guess that is proof that there isn't just few employers, but literally none? Odd to think such data readily exists at the BLS, but I suspect it would give a different result.

The rest of them note the fall in compensation as a share of GDP and conclude, obviously, it must be monopsony. Well, your other theories work much better, actually. Unrealized demand is a temporal thing. If there really is a nasty shortage of money velocity, prices will fall over time to compensate. And it wouldn't tend to drive up profits besides.

Rent seeking, however, we all should know is absolutely a thing that has gotten much worse. But the rent seeking problem would be in no way helped by a minimum wage increase. Our rent seekers don't tend to be big employers, especially not of low-wage employees, tending to employ lawyers and former politicians as their preferred employees.

So, ignoring that this has nothing to do with the minimum wage, the economy is rather broken. It is no accident corporate profits have skyrocketed while government spending did the same. But there isn't something broken about free enterprise. This particular ill springs entirely from the rules government is imposing upon the system.

11/18/2018 8:33:01 PM

HCH
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8/29/2019 11:37:41 AM

Dentaldamn
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Seems like the two states with the highest residential and commercial rents are expensive.

8/29/2019 6:08:30 PM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"Cool so how do you propose ending the monopsony that currently exists and would still exist if we magically transitioned to libertarianism?"

Easy. By pointing out the monopsony does not exist except in a few isolated rural communities. The fix there is to move the workers to cities where monopsony is impossible, a process that is already under way in earnest.

9/1/2019 7:20:51 AM

HCH
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This might not be the best thread, but here you go.

We all know that the oft-cited argument that the McDonalds cashier is harder working and just as valuable to a company than a CEO is ridiculous and really doesn't warrant any rational response. But a good example of the difference in value between a CEO and just about any other worker in a company just came up. T-Mobile's CEO, John Legere, is reportedly leaving to become the new CEO of WeWork. T-Mobile's share price is down ~3% on the news, approximately $2Billion. When was the last time McDonald's stock price dropped because a fry cook left to join Applebees?

11/11/2019 1:29:01 PM

Dentaldamn
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Instead maybe we should calculating the total amount McDonald’s employees receive via food stamps and other welfare services bc they are not paid a living wage. That would be fun.

11/11/2019 1:36:58 PM

daaave
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Quote :
"We all know that the oft-cited argument that the McDonalds cashier is harder working and just as valuable to a company than a CEO is ridiculous and really doesn't warrant any rational response. "


No one has ever argued that an individual fry cook has a higher market value than a CEO. The point of the argument you're butchering is that a fry cook works harder than a CEO and so from a moral perspective, it's fucked up to not pay them a wage they can live on.

11/11/2019 1:41:18 PM

HCH
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There's your fallacy, you confuse hard work with value.

11/11/2019 1:45:52 PM

Dentaldamn
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I think the fallacy is unnecessarily inflating the value of some work

11/11/2019 1:55:10 PM

0EPII1
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Everybody should be paid a living wage, regardless of whether they work harder than the CEO or not, or are as valuable as the CEO or not.

What does value or job difficulty have to do with anything? If a company is going to hire full-time employees, it is their human duty to pay them a wage which they can live on -- rent, bills, food, transport, children's expenses -- in the respective city without having to take on more jobs. Otherwise, it is a fucked up country.

Oh wait, we are talking about 'Murrca#1 -- where it is in vogue to bankrupt and fuck over your fellow citizens who are 'beneath' you -- and not Europe, Australia, or Canada.

11/12/2019 12:57:28 AM

Dentaldamn
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Not sure where you’ve been going but Europe and Canada have plenty of poverty and despair.

Australia I’ve never been but all the Australians I’ve ever met are pretty shitty.

11/12/2019 7:03:44 AM

HCH
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Quote :
" If a company is going to hire full-time employees, it is their human duty to pay them a wage which they can live on agreed to be paid"
FTFY

Quote :
"Everybody should be paid a living wage"
Serious question. Who should pay the owners of the 50% of small businesses that fail within their first year of operation?

11/12/2019 10:56:03 AM

A Tanzarian
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A robust social safety net.

11/12/2019 11:09:34 AM

dtownral
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i like how HCH used share price as a metric for value and mentioned wework in the same post

11/12/2019 11:22:04 AM

daaave
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Quote :
"" If a company is going to hire full-time employees, it is their human duty to pay them a wage which they can live on agreed to be paid""


do you think people should be able to enter an indentured servitude contract?

11/12/2019 11:22:22 AM

dtownral
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serious question, HCH

if pay is because of CEO's value to a company, why are CEO's 312 times more valuable than workers today but were only 19.9 times more valuable than workers in 1965? Are CEOs 15 times more efficient today?




[Edited on November 12, 2019 at 11:27 AM. Reason : .]

11/12/2019 11:26:14 AM

HCH
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Quote :
"do you think people should be able to enter an indentured servitude contract?"
If it's a mutually agreed contract, of course, why wouldn't it be allowed? Did you ever do an internship?

Quote :
"if pay is because of CEO's value to a company, why are CEO's 312 times more valuable than workers today but were only 19.9 times more valuable than workers in 1965? Are CEOs 15 times more efficient today?"
Sure. Let's look at one example. The S&P 500 is up 36x since 1965. So by that metric, CEO pay is actually not even on par with the increased market value of the firms.

But if the question is WHY worker pay has not kept pace with increased CEO pay, there are a lot of reasons. Primarily related to globalization, automation, decreased worker hours, increased benefits not tied to worker pay, etc. Surprisingly its a very complex issue that is best decided on an individual basis, not by government fiat.

11/12/2019 12:22:42 PM

dtownral
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what is it that the CEOs are doing differently today that makes them responsible for this S&P growth that CEOs weren't doing in 1965?

11/12/2019 12:30:01 PM

daaave
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Quote :
""do you think people should be able to enter an indentured servitude contract?"
If it's a mutually agreed contract, of course, why wouldn't it be allowed? Did you ever do an internship?"


Quote :
"indentured servitude"


Quote :
"internship"

11/12/2019 12:34:26 PM

HCH
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Quote :
"what is it that the CEOs are doing differently today that makes them responsible for this S&P growth that CEOs weren't doing in 1965?"
A lot. Let's start with managing a more global workforce.

^Do you have a point, because you are not really making it?

11/12/2019 12:49:56 PM

dtownral
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lol, you need him to spell it out more than that post?

11/12/2019 12:57:16 PM

rwoody
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Ceos are solely responsible for stock market growth, good to know.

11/12/2019 1:15:59 PM

daaave
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I have a point I’d like to make but it requires you to understand what indentured servitude is and for you to be against the concept. So I’m gonna assume you are because you’re either being obtuse or you’re a bigger idiot than I realized.

The system we have in the United States for low paid workers is a form of indentured servitude, not a “free” contract. When you’re low paid and unskilled, you can’t leave your job because you could lose your home, your means of transportation, your healthcare, etc. So if you don’t support a living wage, you effectively support a system of wage slavery.

11/12/2019 1:23:50 PM

Dentaldamn
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This convo is fun and all but what specifically is a “living wag” and how do we account for location variance.

11/12/2019 3:18:14 PM

Cabbage
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^

Location Variance: It is better to be at the front end of the Living Wag than to be at the back end of the Living Wag.

11/12/2019 4:19:29 PM

HCH
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Quote :
"The system we have in the United States for low paid workers is a form of indentured servitude"
No. no it’s not even close. And to suggest as much takes a level of ignorance that is unfathomable.

Quote :
"if you don’t support a living wage, you effectively support a system of wage slavery"
Probably the most racist comment I’ve read on this site in years. Congrats.

11/12/2019 11:11:32 PM

theDuke866
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Quote :
"When you’re low paid and unskilled, you can’t leave your job because you could lose your home, your means of transportation, your healthcare, etc. So if you don’t support a living wage, you effectively support a system of wage slavery.
"


so...how does it work in your system? A janitor leaves his job, but still affords a home, car, etc?

11/12/2019 11:22:59 PM

daaave
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^^
talk to me when you've learned basic economics, HCH

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wage_slavery

Quote :
"so...how does it work in your system? A janitor leaves his job, but still affords a home, car, etc?"


the ideal system is one where everyone has their needs provided for them, under the condition that they will contribute to society however they are able

in the meantime, a living wage should allow someone to afford their needs, plus the ability to put aside savings for emergencies, such as losing your job

[Edited on November 12, 2019 at 11:58 PM. Reason : .]

11/12/2019 11:58:01 PM

Dentaldamn
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Who determines the amount someone is able to contribute to society and what are the consequences when someone doesn’t?

I’d assume 15% of the population would be forced to work in this hypothetical framework.

11/13/2019 8:42:19 AM

dtownral
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Explain your second statement

11/13/2019 8:49:24 AM

daaave
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Quote :
"Who determines the amount someone is able to contribute to society"


Democratically elected workers' councils

Quote :
"and what are the consequences when someone doesn’t?"


If resources are scarce, people will be required to work just like they are today, the difference being labor value will be shared among everyone. If they don't work, they don't get resources...there's not really any other way.

If resources are not scarce, their basic needs will still be provided, but any surplus value will only benefit those who choose to work or are unable.

Idk man watch Star Trek, their system seems pretty good. Let's head that direction.

11/13/2019 10:19:44 AM

Dentaldamn
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https://medium.com/@RickWebb/the-economics-of-star-trek-29bab88d50

This is a fun Star Trek article I haven’t thought about in a bit.

11/13/2019 10:47:26 AM

daaave
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^
Interesting article, but the author doesn't seem to understand what communism actually is. There can be personal ownership under communism - individual homes, cars, toothbrushes, etc. Private ownership in Marxist theory refers to the means of production - factories, machines, etc.

The thing about Marxism is that it is not a concrete economic system. It's materialistic and meant to function within historical and geopolitical context. Worker ownership of the means of production can happen in many forms. And it's a process to make that happen.

There can be money under communism. Yeah maybe your basic needs are provided outside of currency, but what about personal expression/entertainment? Maybe I want a snowboard and someone else wants art supplies. A wage/allowance could be distributed to allow people to do whatever it is they want to do outside of work. "Underground" currencies could even develop and there's nothing wrong with that. Similar to what the author suggests.

He mentions a class system based on the fact that there are admirals, presidents, governors, etc. Again, not outside the realm of Marxist thought, as long as they are democratically elected.

Quote :
"Imagine if that self-same society frowned upon the conspicuous display of consumption and there was a large amount of societal pressure, though not laws, on people that evolved them into not being obsessed with wealth. Is any of that so crazy? Is it impossible?"


To me, this is completely naive considering what has happened in the last century. Productivity has gone way up, but of course the benefits have gone almost entirely to the owning class. So how do you pressure them to share, outside of legislation? Saying mean things to them doesn't work. So the other option would be violence like in the Russian and Cuban revolutions.

Basically, I think the author's misconceptions and fears about individualism under communism cause him to invent a different system that really doesn't make a lot of sense, and requires some big assumptions on his part, in the Star Trek world and the real world.

11/13/2019 11:45:15 AM

HCH
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Quote :
"Idk man watch Star Trek"
Or for a real life example, check out the Soviet Union.

11/13/2019 12:21:04 PM

daaave
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The country that defeated the Nazis while rapidly industrializing, doubled its average lifespan, and eliminated homelessness? The country whose life expectancy dropped by 10 years after its economy was privatized via a neoliberal coup?

Or should we talk about the still-existing Marxist country, Cuba, which has also eliminated homelessness and surpassed the US in lifespan, despite consistent destabilization attempts from capitalist nations?


[Edited on November 13, 2019 at 12:58 PM. Reason : this thread is about the minimum wage y'all]

11/13/2019 12:41:16 PM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"do you think people should be able to enter an indentured servitude contract?"

I'd say hell no. The right to quit is sacrosanct in my opinion.

Quote :
"Democratically elected workers' councils"

Workers do not have society's best interests at heart. Just like owners, they will vote to raise prices every time. Workers will never vote to replace themselves with automation and they will never vote to allow competition. What we really need is a way to put consumers in charge, because only they will incentivize the economization of land, labor, and capital. Oh wait, with free markets we have in-effect done just that. Go freedom.

Quote :
"in the meantime, a living wage should allow someone to afford their needs, plus the ability to put aside savings for emergencies, such as losing your job"

People live paycheck to paycheck because they choose to. Look at their individual spending habits and you'll see them spending money on fast food because they view making a sandwich at home as beneath them. This is their right, of course, and is why the government imposes unemployment insurance upon them, because we cannot trust individuals to choose to save for emergencies, so we force employers to pay for insurance on their behalf. Of course, involuntary unemployment is not the only emergency, so such individuals often come to ruin anyways. That said, such ruination would similarly befall them under a more socialist society, because they would see the safety net and then plan to abuse it on housing and a car and various services they cannot afford on their government supplied stipend.

As for the thread topic of raising the minimum wage, sacrificing the few to unemployment and starvation in the street just to make life a little more comfortable for another group is a monstrous choice and I condemn anyone that defends it.

11/13/2019 1:49:51 PM

Dentaldamn
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Quote :
"Explain your second statement"


In response to "the ideal system is one where everyone has their needs provided for them, under the condition that they will contribute to society however they are able"

People writing, painting, making pottery, playing sports, cutting hair, fixing cars, breeding dogs, making furniture, living in the woods doing absolutely nothing are all examples of activities that could be deemed as not contributing to society. Why would we want a workers council, democratically elected or not, deciding the amount someone should contribute to society?

Quote :
"There can be money under communism. Yeah maybe your basic needs are provided outside of currency, but what about personal expression/entertainment? Maybe I want a snowboard and someone else wants art supplies. A wage/allowance could be distributed to allow people to do whatever it is they want to do outside of work. "Underground" currencies could even develop and there's nothing wrong with that. Similar to what the author suggests."


Who is making these snowboards and art supplies for a small group of people who want snowboards and art supplies???

11/13/2019 10:01:54 PM

daaave
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Why would it be any less than it is now? If anything more people will want those things. Entertainment and arts are worthy of resource investment, are they not?

http://russia.com/activity/skiing/



[Edited on November 13, 2019 at 10:39 PM. Reason : .]

11/13/2019 10:13:16 PM

Dentaldamn
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Of course! But what is worthy of investment and what is deemed a waste of time?? A heathy safety net provided by the wealth of a nation should allow someone to follow a pointless artistic endeavor into abject poverty. Your hypothetical world is not a welfare state, it’s a forced labor state.

Let’s hope the workers council doesn’t decide what art is worthwhile bc we’ll be listening to Journey and watching Lethal Weapon XVI

Edit: lol I see the skiing example. But you said snowboarding, which could only be birth out of a ridiculous culture such as the US where counter culture is commodified into oblivion.

[Edited on November 13, 2019 at 10:50 PM. Reason : Bbbb]

11/13/2019 10:44:54 PM

daaave
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Quote :
"Your hypothetical world is not a welfare state, it’s a forced labor state."


I thought we were talking about a post-scarcity or semi-post-scarcity world? In which case:

Quote :
"If resources are not scarce, their basic needs will still be provided, but any surplus value will only benefit those who choose to work or are unable."


So not forced labor. But if you want extra, you have to put in some work.

Quote :
"Of course! But what is worthy of investment and what is deemed a waste of time??"


Quote :
"Let’s hope the workers council doesn’t decide what art is worthwhile bc we’ll be listening to Journey and watching Lethal Weapon XVI

Edit: lol I see the skiing example. But you said snowboarding, which could only be birth out of a ridiculous culture such as the US where counter culture is commodified into oblivion."


You could have a system of elected councils that vote for or against ideas. If one council turns you down, you can appeal elsewhere, etc. You could have a petition system, or a socialist Kickstarter. You could have a combination of the two. This is all hypothetical so the possibilities are endless.

Quote :
"A heathy safety net provided by the wealth of a nation should allow someone to follow a pointless artistic endeavor into abject poverty."


You could have the equivalent in a socialistic system. Sabbaticals from work where you're free to use whatever surplus resources you've earned, no-strings attached grants, etc. 1 day work weeks where you earn just enough to fund your art.

Or tbh, go live in the damn woods and make art out of twigs if you want to, I'm sure there's a way to allow that.

[Edited on November 14, 2019 at 12:11 AM. Reason : .]

11/14/2019 12:01:19 AM

thegoodlife3
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https://civicskunk.works/anti-15-propaganda-is-coming-d1921e9794d5

Quote :
" Anti-$15 Propaganda Is Coming

Minimum wages are going up around the country next month. Local news outlets will claim the increases are killing jobs. Here’s how to inoculate yourself against their lies."

12/9/2019 12:50:42 PM

LoneSnark
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A continuing economic boom will successfully hide a lot of minimum wage damage. Of course, in an economic boom, wages would be increasing anyways. But the Trump economic boom won't last forever, eventually we will have too many workers for the jobs we have, and lacking wage flexibility, a minority of a minority of workers will have been sacrificed for the comfort of a larger minority of workers. Which is I suppose rather socialist: throwing a small minority of workers into unemployment to starve in the street is great if it brings greater comfort to a larger group of workers (many of which happen to be politically powerful, union members whom's wages happen to be tied to the minimum wage).

[Edited on December 11, 2019 at 8:35 AM. Reason : .,.]

12/11/2019 8:18:26 AM

HaLo
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^surely the increased purchasing power afforded by an increased minimum wage couldn’t be one of the reasons for the Obama economic boom right?

12/11/2019 12:25:13 PM

daaave
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Quote :
"Which is I suppose rather socialist: throwing a small minority of workers into unemployment to starve in the street is great if it brings greater comfort to a larger group of workers (many of which happen to be politically powerful, union members whom's wages happen to be tied to the minimum wage)."


such a hack

12/11/2019 12:54:56 PM

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